Breaking News
More () »

Ducey approved $100 million to help Arizonans recover from wildfire damage. So, where is it?

Officials say some of the money has gone to cities and counties for clean-up efforts. However, there is no system set up to send money to individuals.

GLOBE, Ariz. — Monsoon season has left a community living in the burn path of the Telegraph Fire dealing with fierce flooding, and now the families with wrecked homes are wondering what’s next.

A $100 million plan that Gov. Doug Ducey approved earlier this year was supposed to help, but families are still asking “where’s the money?”

Bonnie Lara watched as her life wash away over the July 4 holiday in six feet of floodwaters.

“I lost everything in my storage,” she said. “My furniture, everything.”

Lara runs a small business from her home near Globe, and it’s now washed away. Over the last month, she’s held on with temporary housing, but she said she’s getting kicked out this week.

“I have no idea what I’m going to do, I have no idea where I’m going to go,” Lara explained. 

It wasn’t supposed to be that way. Ducey approved $100 million in funding to combat the Telegraph Fire and its aftermath.

“Everybody is passing the buck,” she said. “[They’re] saying it’s on the city, and it’s on the country. We have nowhere to go.”

The $100 million plan set aside $75 million to go to different projects, to help combat the Telegraph Fire and its aftermath.

Included in those projects was to provide “Financial assistance to public and private landowners for emergency repairs for infrastructure damage resulting from fires or fire suppression activities.”

According to the governor’s office, around $10 million has been set aside for exactly that purpose.

However, state officials do not know of a single cent that has gone to a private individual dealing with flood damage.

According to Rep. David Cook and a governors spokesperson, there is currently not even an application process for a person impacted by flooding as a result of the telegraph fire to use.

“My frustration is the people of Arizona deserve better than this from all levels of government,” Rep. David Cook said.

Cook voted for the aid package that set aside $10 million for people like Bonnie. But so far, not a single cent has been given out. There isn’t even a form to apply.

“There’s no form,” he said. “From the time that happened to today. There is no form.”

According to the governor’s spokesperson, that money is meant to come after insurance and other groups have stepped in to help individuals.

Gila County Emergency Manager Carl Melford said some of the money from the $100 million has helped pay for the cleanup and repairs on a city and local level but not for people.

Instead, he has referred people to charity organizations to try and pick up the slack.

“Totally government has failed,” Rep. Cook said. Representative Cook said he is pushing on federal partners to try and bring down funds from the US government. However, he said to not have an application process for individuals looking for assistance was unacceptable.

“Let’s get a system, let’s get it in place, and let's get it moving.” Rep. Cook said.

“They knew this was going to happen they should have been a little better prepared,” Lara said.

A GoFundMe account was set up to help families with the flood damage.

Arizona Weather 

Arizona has seen its fair share of severe weather. Here is a compilation of videos from various storms across the Grand Canyon state.